There are so many things I definitely don’t miss about breastfeeding, like the anxiety, engorgement, being beholden to another creature's somewhat unpredictable hunger pangs, pumping, and all the washing, shlepping, and sucking (literally and figuratively) that goes along with it. Good riddance to all of it. However, after four consecutive years of sustaining my children with my body, there were some weird things I actually missed when I was done breastfeeding. All those times I felt trapped on the couch with a nursing infant have turned out to be pretty fond memories.
That’s the thing about motherhood, especially in its earliest days: there’s a whirlwind of activity, and emotion, and grappling with my new identity, and it feels overwhelming, then before I know it I'm past the newborn stage and there’s a whole host of new milestones and considerations I need to make for the next phase of my child’s life. There is never a moment to reflect, though, and really process the changes I'm going through as a parent. It all feels like so much, and when that stresses me out I tend to cast a negative light on this angst-ridden period where my sole goal was to keep my child alive because I was the mom.
Now, years later, I can look back on those early moments with a sense of wonder. I grew and gave birth to two babies. I nourished them and they thrived. I made it through maternity leave and the fifth trimester, and, though we all snap at each other a lot, our family of four is doing OK, in the sense that we are able to at least laugh a few times a day.